I fought the lawn, and the lawn won

I have been spending a lot of time outdoors. A good deal of it has been spent in the back of my property, where things are a bit wild. I am trying to pull up all the English ivy and euonymus that has invaded my yard. I do not like using chemicals, so I am manually pulling it up. But, there is a problem: I am a city girl. I grew up in Brooklyn, NY and this is the first time that I have had so much as a blade of grass to call my own. So there’s a learning curve.

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In which Duckie Constructs a Firepit

I love fires. I love the smell of burning leaves and the smoky smell that gets on you when sitting around one. I especially love hanging out with friends around one, making s’mores and chatting. So I decided that I wanted a firepit in my yard. And since I am me, I couldn’t just go buy one in the store. So I scoured the internet and found this beauty, which I had every intention of building (almost) per the instructions. But no matter where I looked, I could not find tree rings! So the project went on hold until this summer, when I started looking for other inexpensive fire pit ideas.

I posted on Freecycle, looking for free bricks to build a more traditional firepit with. I also added a line asking for curved, scalloped bricks but not expecting anyone to have them. Lo and behold, someone did! He had about 100 of these beauties in the back of his property, and I was free to take as many as I needed.

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Tree Murderer

I am a tree murderer. Yes, I confess to my crime of cutting down over 20 innocent saplings, who were just yearning to be beautiful maples one day. And I don’t regret it for a moment.

When I finally found the energy to explore the back of my property where all the trees are, I was delighted to find numerous baby trees. I was excited to let some of them grow where they stood and move others to more amenable places to live out their happy tree lives. I even posted them on Freecycle and Craigslist, knowing I could not keep them all. I wanted them to go to good homes.

Then I found out what they really were.

Someone contacted me from a nature center in the area, interested in the trees for giveaways at an upcoming event. I chatted with them for a bit and sent them a picture so they could identify the type of maple I had. I thought they were Sugar Maples, which are the type that produce syrup and are native to this region. Between me and the naturalist, we identified the trees as Norwegian Maples, which are, as you can imagine, not native since they are from Norway. They are invasive to the area, taking up resources that local maples and oaks need.

While my stance on human immigration is quite liberal, my thoughts on plant immigration are not. I cut all those suckers down! Twenty-five invasive trees between one and five feet tall were plucked from my property. While I felt a little bad for cutting down trees, I know I am doing the right thing. And there are about the same amount of white oak saplings, which are native to the area, springing up in the grass next to my driveway. Plus, two of my neighbors across the street offered their baby oaks to me for replanting. I promise that for every illegal maple I mowed down, I will replace it with a nice, home bred oak.

*sigh* Sometimes gardening is full of tough choices.

Springtime for Duckie

Wow, it has been a long time since I updated this page. There are two very good reasons; one is that I have not been doing much home improvement. The other is that I was terribly depressed for the last few months, which contributed a lot to the first reason.

A lot has happened since the last time I posted. I changed jobs. I left a long-term relationship, which started the fall into depression. I had personal issues over Christmas that ruined the holiday for me and made matters worse. Then Maryland had a horrible winter, which made it hard to do anything. The lack of warmth and light caused the depression to get worse, and I hardly cleaned my house, let alone made improvements on it.

Spring has a magical effect on me. As the days grew longer, I started coming out of it. I started becoming more active. I started new relationships. The creative juices started flowing again and along with it, the will to get up and move around and do stuff again. And boy, have I been busy! I have so much to update you all on! Lots of exciting plant-related news. Lots of plans for the back yard, as it is my area of focus this season. Some indoor plans as well.

Stay tuned for more posts soon!